Pat Rice on the Dortmund draw, Robin’s leadership and Per Mertesacker
Written by Jeffrey on September 14, 2011 4:45
Arsenal assistant manager Pat Rice was delighted after the Gunners secured an important point in Group F of the Champions League, on Tuesday.
Speaking after the game, the 62-year old declared that the Gunners worked very hard as they knew it was not going to be an easy game adding that the players went very close to producing a major upset at the Signal Iduna Park, an achievement that few teams can achieve.
Asked about Robin van Persie’s goal, Rice explained that the Dutchman produced a great run to meet Theo Walcott’s pass with the Northern Irish revealing that he had a chat with the captain in the dressing room on what has to change to improve the situation.
Asked about new signing Per Mertesacker, Rice concluded by saying that a player who played so many games for Germany cannot be a bad player adding that he was excellent against Jurgen Klopp’s men and will definitely form a solid partnership with France’s Laurent Koscielny.
After the game, Rice said:
We battled really hard and we knew it would be a hard, hard game. To be able to defend well is a high-quality skill and that is something all of our players did this evening. I shouldn’t think many teams will come to Dortmund and beat them and we were very, very close to doing that.
It is nothing unusual to see Robin do something like that. It was a great run from Robin and it was also a terrific ball through [from Theo]. It is unusual to see Robin hit it with his right foot but it proves that he is not just a left-footed footballer.
Robin is obviously the Club captain and we encourage him to be verbal both on the park and also off it, especially in the dressing room.
He was just asking me one or two things that he thought we could have done better and I was just saying one or two things that we could actually do to make the team better.
Per [Mertesacker], from my point of view, is a terrific player. The amount of games he has played for the German national side means he cannot be a bad player. It is impossible.
He is showing that gradually with us. I thought he was terrific tonight alongside Laurent Koscielny and I can only see him getting better and better when he gets used to the Premier League.